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UPDATE: Verizon says outage was due to a fiber optic cable being cut

Posted at 9:51 AM, Feb 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-28 09:51:09-05

LANSING, Mich. — Wednesday night, after a long day of no service for Verizon customers, Verizon released the following statement:

Verizon Wireless experienced a disruption in service for customers in parts of Mid-Michigan due to a fiber optic cable cut to one of our third-party fiber vendor's networks. The disruption was caused by an error made by the vendor, US Signal, during a renovation of the building that housed the fiber optic cable. This fiber cut caused disruptions to our primary and backup fiber paths. After discovering the problem, engineers were able to resolve the issue, and service was fully restored at 5:56 PM.

For additional background: Each of our cell sites are connected to Verizon's network via fiber optic cable. When fiber is already present, Verizon sometimes partners with that fiber provider to carry calls, text, and data over their network to our network. The disruption in service in our area was due to our third party provider's fiber network being cut.

Andy Choi, Public Relations Manager

So, Verizon Wireless customers are back on the grid after being disconnected for seven hours on Wednesday when a fiber optic cable was cut.

Verizon confirmed on Wednesday night that US Signal is the third-party responsible for the service disruption.

FOX 47 News received numerous tips stating that the problem started in a building on the 300 block of North Washington Square in downtown Lansing but that has not been confirmed.

Wednesday afternoon FOX 47 News' Cryss Walker stopped by looking for a manager.

Walker found cables on the floor.

She was able to get in touch with the property owner, who told her that the building houses rack rooms and fiber cables for six communication companies. Those companies were not disclosed.

The manager also said that the building is under construction but didn't confirm if the outage started there.

Workers from Turn-Key Network Solutions were seen on site. Their website describes them as a telecom infrastructure company.

Walker called Turn-Key to find out more information about the disconnection and was told, "no comment," and was directed to call US Signal, an... "IT -data" provider.

US Signal representatives hung up on Walker when she inquired about the fiber optic cable dysfunction.

She called back numerous times but was continuously disconnected.

It's not clear if the company leases a rack room on North Washington Square.

Verizon Wireless told FOX 47 News that anytime there's an outage, 911 calls are automatically connected to any available network.

We talked with local police agencies who said they didn't experience any major problems from the outage.